The Top 3 Android Smartphones for Mobile Gamers
Does that really matter to gamers? The answer may vary depending on your budget, but it would have to be a big yes in general.
Android offers gaming smartphones across all budgets, and there is so much variety for mobile gamers to choose from. On that note, let’s get straight to the list of our top ten gaming smartphones (Android only) next.
ZTE Nubia Red Magic 6R
The ZTE Nubia sub-brand has been at it for years now, and with each of their Red Magic iterations, the company seems to be getting better. The 2021 Nubia Red Magic 6R comes highly recommended because at around £419, it is one of the cheapest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 smartphone that you can get your hands on in 2021.
To think that this amazing device also sports a huge, 6.67” AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, pressure-sensitive zones at 400Hz, and 12GB of RAM to go with it! Rest assured that whether you want to play poker or looking to get a few extra frames over your enemies in a PUBG match, the ZTE Nubia Red Magic 6R will deliver. Keep in mind that the 4,020mAh battery is not the largest we have seen in gaming phones this year. While it does support quick charging, the global Red Magic 6R only supports a 30W charger, and not 55W quick charging like it does in China.
OnePlus 9 Pro
With the OnePlus 9 series, OnePlus has completely abandoned all pretences of being the budget Android flagship king that it once was. This has simultaneously made them lose their identity, but at the same time, allowed them to create some of the finest Android smartphones released this year.
The OnePlus 9 Pro aims not to be the greatest gaming phone released in 2021, but also the top Android smartphone overall. but it has more than enough juice to compete with the most powerful of gaming smartphones available in the market this year.
Although there are a few Android gaming smartphones with bigger displays out there, we were pleasantly surprised by how much crisper games looked on the OnePlus 9 Pro’s 10-bit, QHD+ LTPO Fluid2 AMOLED panel!
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Asus ROG Phone 5
Not unlike the ZTE Nubia Red Magic series, the Asus ROG Phones have been trying to finetune their gaming smartphones for a while now. However, they may have just outdone themselves with the Asus ROG Phone 5.
This is not a phone for everyone, but that is only because the ROG Phone 5 is not designed to be a smartphone for everyone. It is better to consider it a handheld console with smartphone functionalities.
From that perspective, nothing else out there can touch its crown status in 2021. Just take a look at some of the smartphone’s feature highlights next to know what we are talking about.
- 6.78” AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a 10-bit panel (1 billion colours).
- Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC 888 with up to 16GB of RAM.
- Amazing DTS:X stereo speakers with two built-in amplifiers.
- Giant 6,000mAH battery with an endurance rating of over 110 hours.
- Supports Fast Charging at 65W
- Holds the number one position across all benchmark scores for Android devices, above even other Snapdragon 888 gaming smartphones.
- Customizable, Full RGB lights (you can switch them off for better battery performance).
- Virtual trigger/shoulder buttons on one side that turns it into a real handheld console.
Keep in mind that the Asus flagship doesn’t have any class-leading cameras, it doesn’t support wireless charging, and the phone is quite heavy and bulky.
However, the ROG Phone 5 is still surprisingly ergonomic for those long gameplay sessions. It is certainly not the most pocketable smartphone we have seen, but it is not unwieldy at all.
The ROG Phone 5 can also be further fleshed out by a series of first-party accessories. We have three of the best ones listed next.
AeroActive Cooler 5 – Lowers the phone’s temperature by as much as 15°C and adds two extra, customizable buttons to it.
ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad – The modular set modelled after the Nintendo Joy Cons will turn your Asus Rog Phone 5 into an Android OS powered Switch!
ROG Strix Go BT Headset – Powered by Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Audio and ANC for both the cups and the microphone, it is the finest wireless, Android gaming headphone available.
As readers may have noticed, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series of smartphones were not included in this list. This is largely because it makes no sense for mobile gamers to pay so much money and buy a smartphone with the inferior Exynos 2100 chip. There is an SD 888 variant as well, but they are exclusive to China and the USA.
The Exynos variants are all still powerful smartphones, and any one of them will be able to run almost anything from slots and live poker games to Asphalt 9: Legends and Shadow Fight 3 without a hitch. Nevertheless, the OnePlus 9 Pro offers a better deal at a lesser price to gamers and general users alike.